About six months ago we planned to write an essay on why it’s so difficult to choose what we want. Our unique work is about offering ideas on how you can escape the drama in your life so you can create the life and work you desire. One of the first steps in that journey is choosing what you want.
So, writing this essay about choosing should be easy for us, right? Nope. In fact, it has taken us six months to figure out what stopped us from choosing to write on “choosing!” We have had to face our own resistance.
We also discovered that the reasons we didn’t write the essay six months ago are aligned with the three roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer that make up the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) ™.
Looking back, here are the reasons we think we got stuck:
- We weren’t clear enough about what we wanted to write, so it was easy to stay muddled in the confusion and do nothing. This resistance reflects the Victim role, where we felt powerless and didn’t take responsibility to choose a positive response to our confusion.
- We got anxious that the essay wouldn’t be good enough and our readers wouldn’t like what we had to say. This strategy aligns with the Rescuer role, where our focus was on pleasing and receiving “love” for our work. If the essay wasn’t good enough we might not feel affirmed, so we froze rather than getting into action.
- We were worried that If we chose this theme for the essay, we would then have to say no to another approach. Choosing by its design means letting go. What this signifies is the inherent fear of not being in control, which motivates the Persecutor in us who wants to dominate and be in charge. If we let go of anything, we’re not in control (we tell ourselves).
As we deferred this topic, other Victim-oriented internal talk occasionally arose that sounded like:
- “This topic isn’t very good. Surely there are better ones.”
- “There are too many distractions to choose this topic right now.”
- “We need to do more research until it’s perfect.”
That’s a pretty daunting partial list. No wonder we resisted. It’s also a great example of how we can have all 3 DDT roles active at the same time, which is why our deficiency and reactive stories have so much power over us.
The shift from being a Victim to a Creator—the central role in TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ™—begins when you choose what you want. In this simple task of writing an essay on the topic of choosing, we discovered how our default human operating system (the Victim Orientation) is a system designed to resist choosing.
So we took a dose of our own “medicine” and committed to take a Baby Step by committing to write this essay and reflect on our months of resistance.
The power of choosing and taking one small step is that it redirects your focus to what you want and creates momentum toward your envisioned outcome. Remember that committing to that one step does not bind you to it for the long run. You are simply getting into action for now.
Think of a project—at work or home—that you want to create but have not chosen to take the time and energy to get started, or that started then stopped by not choosing to follow through.
Take a few moments to reflect upon these two questions:
- What does choosing to finish this project look like for me?
- If I had the outcome complete, how would I know it?
As you answer these questions try to use all five senses. The more details you use to describe your finished project, the more your brain believes you can really do it. Once you have that picture of what you want to create, choose one Baby Step.
That is the way you overcome the resistance by moving forward one step at a time. As you move forward, don’t forget to celebrate your success which dissolves the resistance and keeps you moving forward.
The essay is done. We did it!